Sister R made me read Doctrine and Covenants 6:22-23 during Sunday school and I felt like truth was shoving it’s way into my heart. Don’t get me wrong, I tried very hard to resist, but truth was pushing harder.
I paid attention a little bit differently that week. I wasn’t sitting there in an effort to protest the lesson, but to try to wrap my head around what we were discussing. The teacher that week, Brother F, was a law professor and snob that I am gave more credit to his words. He talked about trying to think logically about the Book of Mormon and that logic was not the right approach. On one hand, I thought he was asking me to dumb down in order to understand it, but on the other hand, I knew that he was right. I knew that he was right in a way that I wasn’t used to being able to identify right-ness. Follow that? I had a quick flick of a thought: just because you are right, doesn’t mean they are wrong. Woah. Those were not thoughts that this LadyMo was familiar with. I generally operate on the understanding that because I’m right, everyone else is wrong. Classy, huh?
In that discussion, he directed us to Alma 30:44. Reading this was like a punch in the face, and I’ll tell you why.
Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God.
Reading this, I realized that up to this moment, I was defining myself and my theology by who I wasn’t and what I didn’t believe. I pointed to crazy hateful people to define Christianity. I let people who didn’t know or love my family tell me who God was. I let my hurt and anger towards people and ideas I didn’t respect or care about (and who didn’t care about me in return) have control of my thoughts and feelings. These people and ideas had more influence over me than anyone or anything else I loved and respected.
This had been my truth and my methods of discovering truth for 24 years. It didn’t occur to me that this was completely backwards.
I read this and knew that these were the words of our Heavenly Father, speaking to me in the only way I can be spoken to: bluntly. “Are you going to keep asking if I love you? I have sent you nearly 30 missionaries. I have sent you to three churches and two countries, and I spoke directly into your ear. Remember that? Last night? You know the answer to this. Listen to the testimonies of these people. They love you. You love and respect them. Let them help you figure this out. You have to learn to trust them. Stop defining yourself by who you are not. I have given you every reason to believe I am real and I need you to meet me half way on this. Capice?”
(Heavenly Father : Godfather. My wit impresses me sometimes.)
I didn’t want to, I reaaaaalllly didn’t want to, but I started to understand what all of these people (crazy Mormons) meant when they said they found answers to prayers in scripture.
I made a decision right there with God. I made him a promise I wasn’t sure I could keep, but I offered it up anyway: I’m going to try.
So much love,